Who Are The Favourites For The 2023/24 League One Season?

Derby County are the early favourites
18:00, 31 May 2023

League One’s season finished in the most dramatic style. Sheffield Wednesday, having come back from 4-0 down in the semi-final, scored a 123rd minute winner in the final against Barnsley to secure their return to the second tier. Having hit 96 points in the regular season, few could argue they deserved it over 49 games, but now the rest of the pack will prepare for another season in England’s third tier. 

There’s some new additions to look forward to. Leyton Orient shocked League Two as they romped to the title and they will be joined by fellow promoted sides Stevenage, Northampton and play-off winners Carlisle United. Meanwhile, Reading, Wigan and Blackpool’s relegations from the Championship and the states each club is in actually makes this League One season fairly open on paper. 


League One odds with Betfred*

Derby County - 4/1

Bolton Wanderers - 7/1

Barnsley - 8/1

Peterborough United - 9/1

Reading - 10/1

Portsmouth - 10/1

Blackpool - 12/1

Wycombe Wanderers - 16/1

Charlton Athletic - 16/1

Oxford United - 20/1

Wigan Athletic - 28/1

Shrewsbury Town - 33/1

Lincoln City - 33/1

Exeter City - 40/1

Northampton - 40/1

Port Vale - 50/1

Stevenage - 50/1

Bristol Rovers - 50/1

Burton Albion - 50/1

Cambridge United - 66/1

Fleetwood Town - 66/1

Leyton Orient - 66/1

Carlisle United - 66/1

Cheltenham Town - 66/1

Intriguingly and unlike the leaders in the market for the Championship and League Two, the top four teams in the betting all played in League One last term. Perhaps that gives a nod to the fact that this looks likely to be a weaker division this time around, but it makes it a wide open field. 

Wigan’s points deduction has placed them at 28/1 while Blackpool are 12s and Reading, still with their own issues, are in at 10/1. Given they are all unlikely to challenge for the automatic places, it seems like Betfred have got this spot on. When you consider how good Plymouth, Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday were last term, Barnsley did remarkably well to finish fourth on 86 points. The Tykes almost won the play-off final with ten men too. If they can keep hold of Michael Duff, which looks possible at this stage, they would be my outright pick to win the division and its a choice I’m fairly bullish on. They’ve already proven their class at this level and can blow away a weaker division in 23/24.

Derby County have been priced as the short-priced favourites which is understandable given they have Paul Warne but the Rams missed out on a play-off spot on the final day and their squad isn’t getting any younger. I’d expect them to be there or thereabouts, but given the price difference, I’d back the Tykes over them every day of the week.

Ian Evatt’s Bolton are worthy contenders having narrowly lost to Barnsley in the play-off semi-final and they will hope to continue their progression that has seen them rise from League Two to the top six of League One in three seasons. Peterborough look likely to have a big overhaul including the exit of Golden Boot winner Jonson Clarke-Harris but under Grant McCann, it looks like a challenge for automatic promotion could be on the cards again. 

The other pick I’d put forward is Reading at 10/1. That price seems long, especially given the club are reportedly about to hire Chris Wilder as their manager. If they can get their business in order, which under Wilder I would expect, they should be top two contenders. 

Early ante-post pick: Barnsley @ 8/1

Other pick: Reading @ 10/1

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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